Save India Foundation (SIF), a group which had organized two protests – in Jantar Mantar (in August 2021) and Burari Hindu Mahapanchayat (in April 2022) – sparking a controversy over alleged hate speech by some speakers, announced a march to Delhi in November.
The group’s self-proclaimed chairman, Preet Singh, who is currently out on bail following his arrest in the Jantar Mantar case, has confirmed that the group will hold the march on November 27. Singh is an alleged defendant in both cases.
Similar to their demands to Jantar Mantar and the Burari, the foundation said it is organizing the proposed march between Rajghat and Rashrapati Bhawan to demand uniform laws, the repeal of colonial era laws and a halt to conversion nun, among other requests.
Singh said their legal team had already applied to various police stations along the route to seek permission for the march. Senior Delhi Police officers said they had not yet been briefed on the march and would take a call after verifying details. “We will decide once we receive the request for the march. Permission will depend on who is organizing the rally and the details of the march,” said a police officer who requested anonymity.
Delhi Police had earlier denied permission to the Save India Foundation for the group’s two events – the Jantar Mantar protest on August 11, 2021 and the Hindu Mahapahachayat on March 4, 2022 in Burari. The organizers, however, continued their program during which hate speeches were made by various speakers. Videos shared on social media, still available on online platforms, show police officers at the two locations where the hate speeches were made. In the Jantar Mantar case, police arrested numerous self-proclaimed leaders of right-wing groups as well as former BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhayay. Upadhyaya also maintained that he did not make any inflammatory or hate speech.
In the Jantar Mantar case, the police filed an indictment after arresting at least seven people while the investigation in the Hindu Mahapanchayat case is still ongoing and no one has been arrested.
When contacted, Preet Singh, President of SIF, said: “I did not participate in any hate speech in Jantar Mantar or Burari, but I was still framed by the police in both cases. To hold a march is our legal right. Our demand is the same, such as a uniform civil code, uniform education and the prohibition of religious conversion. We wrote to the police asking for permission to hold a peaceful march. We haven’t heard from them yet,” Singh said.
In a message on WhatsApp groups, Singh asked for different Hindu outfits to be part of the initiative.